6/05/2017

1960s Harmony H927 "Stella" Tailpiece Parlor Guitar





The H927 is simply the natural-faced version of the H929 "Stella" student guitar -- arguably one of the most common "vintage" boxes seen at flea markets for many, many years and just now being ousted by '70s and '80s Japanese and Korean guitars of indeterminate functionality. This one was sent in by a customer for repair and it came in fairly-good cosmetic shape, save needing a crack repaired on the back.

As far as playability, though? It needed "the usual" for these -- a heavy-handed fret level/dress, new bridge, and a good setup. I also installed a hidden "security bolt" in the heel just in case the neck angle decides to change in the future. The results are satisfying, however, as it plays spot-on at the 12th fret, has a chunky, bluesy vibe, and has a straight neck while strung with a set of 54w-12 strings. With "student" guitars like this, one really has to weigh value when sprucing them up.


The usual specs apply, too -- a solid birch body all around is mated to a poplar neck and stained-poplar (or maple) fretboard and bridge. The bridge here, however, is a new, compensated, rosewood one.


I'm pretty sure this guitar dates to the mid-'60s, per its styling and pickguard... though the Harmony date stamp is missing on the interior.


The "deco" sprayed-on fret markers are always eye-catching on these. I added side dots after doing the frets.


Because of a mild "ski-jump" after the neck joint, the frets get increasingly shallower as the fretboard extension gets nearer the soundhole.



The original bridge was no longer useful because of the way it was cut, so I made a new, rosewood, compensated one to replace it. Just like on the Sears version of this same guitar I recently worked-on, I "tacked" the bridge in place with some tiny, tiny screws to keep the bridge stable even if the player gets "excitable."

Since there will always be a bridge in this position, I figured the tiny pinprick holes weren't a liability fashion-wise as they'll always be covered -- and can be filled and matched in a minute or so, anyhow, if need be.




The tuners got a quick lube and they work much better after it.



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